With some pleasant time sunk into Guild Wars 2 this year, I’ve been in a self-proclaimed holding pattern of play and interest until the team revealed what’s going on with the expansion. I told myself that I’d look at the reveal with an open mind and then judge whether or not it would be worth getting back into and finishing up the previous expansion and season 3 to prepare.
First things first, I’ll give it to ArenaNet for a well-done expansion announcement. The studio primed its audience well, built the hype, and made the announcement fairly soon after the last episode of season 3 was released. Plus, not a lot to steal its thunder that day. It went over a lot better than the Heart of Thorns announcement debacle a couple of years back.
So what’s the deal? As the leaks a few months ago suggested, Path of Fire is a Crystal Desert/Elona-themed expansion that’s bringing in mounts as its big new feature. Five large zones, nine new elite specs, and an angry god returned to ravage the land.
The price is incredibly reasonable: $30 for the base edition, which is way cheaper than most MMO expansions these days (bar the free ones). $50 if you want to bundle with Heart of Thorns, which I’m sure surprised some people who were loudly advising people to hold off buying HoT this year an anticipation of getting it for free when the new expansion was announced.
But did it send me into a hype frenzy? Um… no, not really. I’m honestly very apathetic toward this expansion, which means that I’m probably not going to be on board with it over the next couple of months. It’s like ArenaNet is trying to hit all of my “most hated” zone buttons lately with jungles, volcanoes, and deserts, and I do not have these incredibly fond memories that some Guild Wars 1 players do for the Crystal Desert. Balthazar looks kind of silly as a villain, kind of an over-the-top He-Man bad guy (at least he isn’t a dragon, but there is a smattering of dragon talk in the reveal to keep that thread alive). The elite specs aren’t really doing anything for me either.
What’s perhaps most surprising is how much this expansion is “more of the same” for Guild Wars 2. The only truly new feature is mounts, which welcome to the MMO club on that, GW2. No new classes? No new races? No personal housing? I know everyone’s riding high on the excitement about this, but if anything, Path of Fire initially comes off as being less innovative and more cautious than Heart of Thorns.
That said, I’m sure it’ll be great and a welcome content injection for players. Lots of stuff to do, another story to enjoy, and hopefully wonderful music for me to accumulate at some point. But it’s not going to top my interest in some other titles right now, so that’s that, I guess.